Guwahati, July 6: The Assam Cabinet has decided to grant ‘indigenous community status’ to five subgroups of Assamese-speaking Muslims – Syed, Goriya, Moriya, Deshi and Jolha.
The move to protect the interests of indigenous Assamese Muslims, comes after last month’s announcement by the chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma that the state government would take steps for separate classification of indigenous minorities in the state, including Muslim communities.
The Cabinet approval has come in less than three months after seven sub-groups/committees, which were constituted to outline a roadmap for overall development of indigenous minorities in Assam, had submitted their recommendations to the chief minister.
The sub-committees on cultural identity, health, education, skill development, population stabilisation, financial inclusion and women empowerment were formed consequent to an interaction between the chief minister and over 150 leading personalities from indigenous minority communities across various fields here last year.
“People belonging to these five Muslim communities will be categorised as Assamese Muslim sub-groups or indigenous Assamese Muslims,” Assam health minister Keshab Kumar Mahanta informed.